Hacking technology can be a fun thing to do for skilled hackers. Knowing how to do this is a skill that can actually help people get hired for really awesome jobs, making a lot of money. There are many “legal” hacking jobs, but most hacking in the world is illegal. Mostly, it is done to spread private information, steal important information, and much more. However, there are some things that are done out of pure fun. These can be some of the funniest hacker attacks to see too.
While there are infamous hacking groups like Anonymous (who we write about below), there are many other groups too. Yet some are still teenagers when they expose security issues. Others simply take advantage of a business’ own mistake. But best hacking jobs seem to happen out of revenge or when a person/group is trying to expose hypocrisy. We highlight all of these in this article, so sit back and check out our list of the funniest hacker attacks of all time.
AC/DC Goes Nuclear
When Hack Happened:July 2012
Who Did It:Unknown (believed to be someone with American or Israeli Government)
If you ask pretty much any nation on Earth if Iran should have access to nuclear weapons, most would tell you no. This is what led to the Iranian Deal being signed in the first place. Before this, many tried to actually hack into Iran’s nuclear facilities to gain information on what was happening or to stop things altogether. However, in July of 2012, someone hacked their way in. Did they steal government secrets or stop anything from progressing in the facility? Nope.
They just played AC/DC’s Thunderstruck over the speakers non-stop. It was on a loop that could not be stopped, playing well into the night. While the worm installed did also attack the automation network itself, this was seemingly a bit easier to stop than AC/DC. We’re not going to say this proves AC/DC is the most legendary rock band on Earth. But they literally could not be stopped by nuclear scientists. Do with that information what you will. To us, this is one of the funniest hacker attacks ever.
One big issue with electronic road signs is that security is seldomly ever “good” for them. They are controlled by Police, a specific city, or a combination of the two. Usually, they have fairly easy usernames and passwords. The same issue happened with electronic billboards, although those are operated by various people. As a result of this ease of access, your average hacker could get in.
Some of the best hacks on road signs have happened in Texas. One of the best was done by Geoffrey Eltgroth. He happened across one and easily guessed the username & password. He then changed the electronic sign to read: “Drive Crazy Ya’ll.” An attempt to annoy the police who might see motorists traveling fast just because a sign told them to. Someone closeby saw what happened and called the police. Geoffrey was arrested a short time after and charged with “criminal mischief.”
Mr. Bean was a lovable character that was co-written by Rowan Atkinson, who also played the title character. The show itself ran on British television for just 15 episodes. But it was so popular that Bean saw a spin-off animated series and two feature-length movies. The character was hilarious due to the bumbling idiocy of Bean, who somehow managed to complete whatever he was tasked with. Bean tripped on stuff, dropped things on himself and others, he was a physical comedian’s dream.
Due to this buffoonish character being so popular, it was compelling to compare him to the Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. The two looked very similar but Minister Zapatero was also not a popular figure in Spain, especially during the 2010 election cycle. An economic crisis led to mass protests, including one hacker replacing Zapatero’s picture with that of Mr. Bean on the EU Presidency website. It was one of the funniest hacker attacks ever, mostly due to the spot-on nature.
Anonymous is known as a “decentralized international activist/hacktivist collective/movement.” Only a few people in the group have been identified, and that was due to being out of the group by that point and choosing to be identified. Before they were known as a “hacktivist collective,” they decided to deal with a group from a hip-hop message board in 2008. SOHH.com is a hip-hop news website that, at the time, had a forum and message board system. This board often went off the rails.
In their “Just Bugging Out” forum, they took shots at the Anonymous group consistently. Once Anonymous caught wind of this, they hit the site in three waves. The first wave was by flooding the website’s message board, which caused them to shut down. The group then crippled the site with numerous Denial-of-Service or DDoS attacks. The group finally defaced the homepage with racial slurs and images. While most of the hack was funny, their last wave was universally seen as terrible.
While the former U.S. President is known for being a Twitter troll (so much so they eventually banned him), he was not a politician in 2013. Trump would not announce his serious interest for President until a few years later, but even before this he was posting some “less than favorable stuff.” We’re not a political website, so we’ll leave it at that. Due to this, he was a target for many hackers on social media.
One managed to hack into Trump’s personal Twitter account and began posting as him. The best of the tweets involved using lyrics from a Lil Wayne song. For those unaware, Wayne’s rap work has some…let’s say “not safe for work” lyrics. So when Trump’s account tweeted “these h*** think they classy, well that’s the class I’m skippen,” people were concerned. The Trump team regained control about three hours later, but the hacker wasn’t caught.
Britney Spears Is Part Of The Illuminati? If Twitter Says So, It Must Be Real
When Hack Happened:2009
Who Did It:Unknown
The Illuminati has been referenced in the public for years as some sort of shadow group made up of famous celebrities, politicians, notable business people, etc. It is usually only involving people that others dislike or want to make into a bad person for the heck of it. Britney Spears was hacked by someone in 2009 when a yet-to-be-identified troll decided to have her come out as a member of the group. Because, as you know, if you’re involved in a secret group, you must tell everyone!
The hacker wrote tweets that said: “I give myself to Lucifer every day for it to arrive as quickly as possible. Glory to Satan!” as well as “I hope that the new world order will arrive as soon as possible! -Britney.” The hacker even changed her profile into an Illuminati account. Lucky for Spears, her web team got involved and deleted the tweets, and cleaned up her profile. The team even referenced the hack. Or maybe that is just what they WANT us to think! (Spears’ social media has been hacked since)
Today, it is easy to have movies spoiled with the fast-paced world of social media in play. You have to just stay offline to keep from all the spoilers. But this was not always the case. In fact, in 2012 one could still enjoy the online world without as many things being spoiled for them. That meant people needed to get creative, so in October 2012, two artists named Wes Eastin & Stefani Byrd decided to hack road signs.
Road signs normally have traffic updates and potential warnings ahead. As we mentioned earlier though, they are fairly simple to hack. Therefore, the two artists in Atlanta, Georgia had no trouble going in and removing traffic updates and replacing them with movie spoilers to irk drivers. Specifically for the movie Looper, they wrote “Looper/Spoiler Alert/Bruce Willis Dies.” Of course, this was one of the funniest hacker attacks ever, but many Atlanta drivers were not happy about it.
Operation Cupcake might sound like some sort of weird name for a potentially big military move, but it was not exactly that. It is true that the American government was trying to take down major propaganda and misinformation spread by terrorist organizations online though. The United Kingdom, an ally to the United States, was also heavily against terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda. This led MI6 and the UK government to pull off something incredible.
In the online al-Qaeda magazine, the organization gave out the recipe for creating a proper pipebomb. This was easy for all to access and could be troublesome. Therefore, in 2011, the specialist hackers at MI6 hacked the al-Qaeda website and changed the pipebomb recipe with the ingredients used to make cupcakes. They took the recipe directly from Ellen DeGeneres’ “Best Cupcakes in America,” which was genius. This was clearly one of the funniest hacker attacks ever, “explosively” funny even.
Who Did It:Unknown (Potentially the SomethingAwful Forums)
During the initial hype around digital currency in 2011, several cryptocurrencies were starting to come out. Bitcoin was naturally the biggest of them all and remains such today. While several popped up, only one managed to catch people’s attention beyond Bitcoin, that was Cosbycoin. Yes, it involved an image of the famed comedian Bill Cosby. While today his reputation is pretty terrible, now knowing what he did many years ago to women, the world was unaware of this at that time.
The website Bitcointalk.org had a forum that was taken over by hackers and then replaced with multiple advertisements as well as website redirects to Cosbycoin. One would assume that this was a real cryptocurrency considering there were so many of them at the time. However, it was not real at all. Making this hack even more meaningless. This was one of the funniest hacker attacks ever, but obviously, it is much darker now knowing what we know about Cosby.
The Westboro Baptist Church has managed to become quite famous for being absolutely terrible. They have protested at military funerals, which is horrible enough. But they also protested at the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a gay man who was robbed and brutally beaten, left to die in Wyoming. They also protested the Illinois Holocaust Museum. It is like they had no cause other than to create mass hatred for others. The church is filled with hate, bigotry, and hypocrisy.
The hacker group Anonymous felt the same and decided to concentrate their efforts on making Westboro understand just how terrible they are. The reason this is one of the funniest hacker attacks, in our view, was how they went about it. During a live interview, they defaced the website run by the church. They posted a message on their site that claimed Westboro had the right to voice their opinion, but they did not agree with it. Anonymous also stated that, though they could, they would not bring the church any more attention by further hacking them. It served as a valuable warning to the group.
As mentioned, road signs get hacked all the time but only some of these hacks are memorable. There were a series of hacks that took place in the late 2000s when hackers decided to add the most random of messages to the signs. The way they did it was simply by pressing “Shift” & “Control” then type “DIPY.” This would reset the password back to “DOTS.” The system was clearly too easy to mess with, causing a need for them to be changed up.
While they were changed since this, it was not great. But in this late 2000s period, a series of messages were typed out that drivers were a bit surprised to see. Some of them simply had random song lyrics on them from popular songs at that time, but others were more creative. Perhaps the best was when the hackers added several warnings about an incoming zombie apocalypse. One sign even read simply “Zombies Ahead.” This forced the local news to have to explain things repeatedly.
While some of the funniest hacker attacks tend to happen on social media, you assume they’ll be a lot like the Britney Spears situation we referred to earlier. But this hacker just wanted to watch the world burn. They managed to hack into Burger King’s official Twitter handle in February 2013. The hacker could have done anything at this point. Perhaps, they could tweet out racial material, post horrible images, you name it.
Instead, they chose to simply troll the King. They posted several messages that claimed Burger King had been sold to one of their biggest fast-food rivals, McDonald’s. Due to this, they went all in and changed the name of their handle and even added the infamous golden arches of McDonald’s as their new profile image. Of course, the web team managed to get back into the account to remove all of this. Yet the one who hacked in is still at large, causing fast-food chaos wherever they may go.
For those unaware, Lenovo is a popular Chinese tech company that makes personal computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and a whole host of other tech products. We do not know exactly what possessed hackers to target this specific tech company but one would assume they of all companies would be prepared for a hacking issue. The team behind the hack calls themselves “Lizard Squad.” In 2014, they hacked several random targets and did some odd stuff when they did so.
Yet the biggest hack they are known for happened in February 2015 when they hacked Lenovo’s main website. They replaced the entire site with some bored teenager who has still yet to be identified. They even had the soundtrack from the Disney Channel Original Movie, High School Musical, playing in the background. Lenovo eventually gained control again, but we have to hand it to Lizard Squad, this was one of the funniest hacker attacks ever.
The Old “Hack An Entire City’s Phone System To Win A Porsche” Gag
When Hack Happened:June 1,1990
Who Did It:Kevin Poulsen
The Los Angeles phone system was not exactly secure back in the mid-1990s. It is not surprising that one smart tech guy would eventually hack in. Kevin Poulsen did just that, but he had an understandable reason for his decision. He wanted to win a car. Not just any car either, a Porsche 944 S2. The radio station, LA KIIS FM, was giving the car away to the 102nd caller into the station on June 1, 1990. Poulsen wanted to ensure that would be him.
How could he do this other than repeatedly calling in and hoping to get lucky? Well, by hacking LA’s phone system obviously. It might be a crazy decision, but it worked. He took control of the phone network and simply blocked incoming calls to the radio station’s phone number. Naturally, Poulsen won the car. Yet the city caught up with Kevin, knowing what he did. It resulted in the man serving 5 years in prison! After getting out, he eventually became a Senior Editor at Wired News. Seriously!
Church Of Scientology’s Google Results Were Hacked Perfectly
When Hack Happened:2008
Who Did It:Unknown
We are obviously the Science Sensei, not the “Religion Sensei.” Therefore, we won’t dive much into Scientology and all of its odd or understandable material. However, what we will discuss is that the Church of Scientology had been growing in popularity for a while. This was only aided due to high-profile members, including the major box office attraction, Tom Cruise. In fact, this entire hack story revolves around Mr. Cruise too. In 2008, they attempted to get a video taken down from YouTube.
It was a video being critical of Cruise, which the church did not want to see. YouTube was naturally growing into a phenomenon at the time, and anything on the website could become big news. Hackers did not like to see this, so they decided to use mathematics to get back at the Church. They essentially shifted the Church of Scientology’s Google rankings. They did this by making the church pop up first when a person Googled “dangerous cults.” This remained in place for quite a while too.
Aaron Barr claimed he had found out the identities of several members within the Anonymous hacker group in 2011. In fact, he truly believed he cleverly found his way into the organization to gather up names. At the time, Barr was working as the Head of Security for the HBGary Federal firm. Anonymous knew all about this, and they knew he was likely bluffing. In fact, they made very sure of that. The entire idea about Anonymous is that its members are spread out all over the world.
Even members of the group do not really know about most of the other members. Plus, they are pretty good at this whole “hacking” thing and keep their identities a secret very well. They could not take any chances, so they decided to hack into HBGary’s website and released Barr’s supposed findings themselves. While they were there, they also posted archives of emails from company executives on file-trading networks. This was just a warning, and we found it comical.
When we talk about some of the funniest hacker attacks ever, there are few that get more clever AND funnier than this. In 2004, a group of hackers from North Carolina realized that the News 14 broadcast posted about school closings. While this happens all the time around the country, the hackers realized how the network did it. They picked up the closings for schools or workplaces from an online messenger. Once they knew how they went about it, the gloves were off.
They hacked into the messenger and began to flood it with various messages. Many of them were pretty comical, such as “All Your Base Are Belong To Us.” Horrible grammar aside, this had been a funny saying from the online world. They also flooded the messenger with numerous falsified messages about school closings. By the way, not only did the school closing stuff make air for News 14, but so did everything from the online messenger. It was wired directly to the network ticker.
The Max Headroom hack is legendary in the hacking world. Originally invented in the 1980s, “Max Headroom” was a sentient yellow artificial intelligence from the movie, Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into The Future. The character had a unique look, with a weird electronic voice. This unique nature made him relatively popular as a cult icon for years. Fast-Forward a bit to November 1987. A man in a Max Headroom mask began taking over TV networks.
He interrupted broadcasts, insulted sportscasters, and even made fun of Dr. Who. It all added up to several minutes in total, and everyone knew the networks were being hacked. The jokes became pretty well-known, but people wanted to know who was responsible for the hack. Several investigations took place but all came up empty. The person or persons responsible are still at large. Whoever did it, we hope they know they are responsible for one of the funniest hacker attacks ever.
Security Expert Sends Warning To Thousands Of Printer Owners
When Hack Happened:February 2017
Who Did It:Stackoverflowin
One man, who happened to be a security expert that went by the fake name “Stackoverflowin,” saw a major security flaw in several printers. Due to this, he wanted to make sure to send the many owners of these specific printers a warning. Knowing that he could hack into them, he decided to do just that in February 2017. Interestingly, this came right after a study was published online showing how certain printers allowed attackers to access them over the internet.
They were able to do this because the printers kept ports open by default. The man exploited this exact problem and sent out messages to around 150,000 printer owners. He sent them messages that automatically printed out whenever the printer turned on for use. Some of the messages were of artwork. But most were simply warned, with the line: “for the love of God, please close this port.” This is one of the funniest hacker attacks ever, but also the nicest. He could have done much worse.
Anonymous was rightly upset with the United States Government in 2010. The American government demanded that Wikileaks stop releasing top-secret diplomatic cables to the public. Several companies supported Wikileaks in the past but with the government now against them, they were too. They froze accounts and shut down the site’s servers at one point. The owner, Julian Assange, was furious over this. The companies in question were Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, PostFinance, and even Amazon.
Anonymous was mad as well that the government would do this, but also that these companies pushed away and refused to do business with Wikileaks. In December 2010, Anonymous decided to take down both Visa’s and MasterCard’s websites. Called Operation Payback, many found it to be one of the funniest hacker attacks ever, as Anonymous showed these businesses what it was like to have business come to a halt. But things then started to spin out of control, with Anonymous taking down numerous other anti-piracy opponents along with the others with targeted DDOS attacks.
Darktrace, a cybersecurity firm, managed to uncover something pretty odd. They found that hackers were using an internet-connected fish tank to steal data from a yet to be identified North American casino. The tank was properly equipped with IoT sensors, which were connected to a PC that monitored and regulated the temperature and even the cleanliness of the tank. It even kept up with feeding the fish.
Justin Fier, Director for Cyber Intelligence & Analysis for Darktrace, claimed: “Someone used the fish tank to get into the network, and once they were in the fish tank, they scanned and found other vulnerabilities and moved laterally to other places in the network.” The team traced back the tank’s owners to Finland. They even found that an incident in London was also done by the same team, and allowed them to get a foothold in the casino’s network, to begin with.
We feel bad discussing this one. While it is one of the funniest hacker attacks ever, it involved a man wanting more friends. MySpace is now like the abandoned amusement park of social media networks, but it used to be the most notable one. Everyone knows that once you created an account, the site’s founder, Tom, became your very first friend. Therefore, everyone was friends with Tom. But at one point, many became friends with Samy Kamkar too.
In 2005, Samy decided that he would exploit a vulnerable spot in MySpace’s security, and created the fastest spreading computer virus to ever exist. Within just 1 day of his move, the virus he installed infected roughly one million pages on the site. Of course, his attack did not have any major nor harmful effects. Except those exposed were forced to send a friend request to Samy Kamkar’s MySpace account. They also had a message displayed on their page that reads: “but most of all, Samy is my hero.” Samy is now a top security researcher.
A man named Attila Nemeth wanted to work for the Marriott International Security Firm. It has been said that he attempted to get hired by them in the normal way, but the Hungarian hacker had no luck. Therefore, in 2010 he decided to transmit a malicious code into the company’s network. Marriot knew they had been hacked, and Attilia threatened to do more damage unless he was given a job with the company.
Yet this is what makes it one of the funniest hacker attacks of all time. Marriot decided to respond to Attila, and set him up with a fake employee account and the promise of a job, just as he demanded. This prompted Nemeth to send over his resume, passport, as well as other specific identification. Of course, this was then passed on to the United States Secret Service who took action against the 26-year-old hacker. He ended up being sentenced to 30 months in a Maryland prison.
Back in 2009, the nation of Australia proved how inept they were when it came to the internet. They planned to push heavy censorship, which most citizens hated. They even wanted to try to ban all possible “adult entertainment,” if you know what we mean. Anonymous caught wind of what the government wanted to do, then decided to launch Operation Didgeridie. An odd name, but perfect for this specific situation. One year later, in 2010, they launched Operation T**storm.
The two hacking projects were very specific. The first was a DDOS Attack on the Prime Minister’s website, which only took the site down for about an hour. The second, however, was a major attack. Anonymous shut down the Australian Parliament House website and even caused problems for Australia’s Department of Communication. Both of the latter hacks came with crazy demands, which focused heavily on Australia’s ban on adult entertainment. It was the first time Anonymous was seen as a true “hacktivist” or vigilante group that fought for the rights of man.
The year was 1903 and the “father of the modern radio,” Guglielmo Marconi, was stationed on a cliff. He was preparing to show off his version of the modern telegraph to the Royal Academy of Sciences. As Marconi was reading his fingers to send a message more than 300 miles across airwaves, his machine began pulsing strongly on its receiving end. The decoder managed to spell out “RATS” several times before the machine started getting random limericks.
The first was “there was a young fellow of Italy, who diddled the public quite prettily.” Although not bad when read, it was pronounced quite rudely. More random quotes began to follow. It was found that a wireless engineer called Nevil Maskelyne was behind the hack. He worked for the Eastern Telegraph Company and did this hack for a reason. He claimed that telegraph messages weren’t private, which he proved to be true. Eventually, the telegraph died off when “telephones” came to be.
Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources: